Every day I wake up and give thanks for the gift of another day. And two years ago, I almost lost the chance to ever say those words again. Some of you may already know the story about how I almost lost my life, and for others, this is the first time you’re learning of this story. Thank you for your time and attention as I share my story and the amazing lessons I have learned since.
How many of you here have survived a life-threatening illness? And how many of you have been there when a loved one has unexpectedly been stricken by a life-threatening illness? If you haven’t, take a moment to be grateful for that. And for the rest of us, you’ll probably agree with me that once you’ve been through it, life is never the same again.
Today I’ll be sharing my story about how I survived a life-threatening bacterial infection in December of 2014. I will also share with you the deeper wisdom I learned from this experience when it comes to the value of our health, the power of residual income and the importance of daily gratitude.
First, my story: In the fall of 2014, I was unexpectedly pregnant for the third time. I am mom to a beautiful healthy 6 year old girl and had suffered another miscarriage about 18 months earlier. We were not planning to grow our family, but assumed that it was God’s will so we embraced the pregnancy and planned for the arrival of baby number two. A few days before I reached 12 weeks gestation, once again, I suffered a miscarriage. I had to have a small surgical procedure, only 10 minutes long and was sent home shortly after. Even though I suffered a second pregnancy loss, I promise you, after what followed, we are absolutely grateful to still be a family of three.
Here’s what happened next: I ended up being admitted to the hospital two days later and was diagnosed with invasive group A strep, a bacterial infection that either causes flesh eating disease or sepsis (blood poisoning). I had the sepsis type, which has a 60% mortality rate. In order for me to heal, I was medically sedated for a week. I will never know what my family and my friends went through during that time, as I have no memory of what happened. All I know is that I woke up, a week later, and I was alive and healing! Two and a half days later, I was released to recover at home, after being hospitalized for almost two weeks. I had to learn how to do so many things again, including writing and using my phone, and my muscles were so wasted that I had to work to hold a water bottle, walk and even had to shower sitting down. Within a month however, I had regained most of my strength and 6 months later, it was as though nothing had ever happened (from a physical perspective).
You have often seem me write about the value of our health. There are many reasons why I am alive today and I know my healthy lifestyle contributed. I have been working in nutrition and wellness for over a decade and if you had put me in a lineup of a thousand people you never would have guessed that I would be the one to get sick. And that’s the rub isn’t it? It is critical for us to be in optimal health every day because you never know what curve-balls life will throw you. Interestingly, my liver is so clean and efficient that doctors had to give me the same amount of sedation they would give an alcoholic because my liver was processing the medications too quickly. And my recovery was about a month faster than expected, because as soon as I was out of the hospital I was taking all of my nutritional supplements and drinking my shakes because that’s all I could stomach. Here’s what I want you to ask yourself – am I honestly giving myself the best preventative care possible?
I also had the chance to experience the true power of residual income. How many of you are familiar with this term? Residual income is income that comes in whether you are working or not. And when you add leverage to residual income, that is when you have a team of leaders whom you mentor and support, you have a truly incredible business model. I was unable to even turn on a computer or check my business for two weeks. And when I got back from the hospital and checked my bank account a few days later, I was shocked to see how much money was in there! In my business, we get paid every Friday and I had received several large checks while I was sleeping. I was also not permitted to work for the two weeks that followed for recovery. Turns out that in 2014, my highest income month, was December. And I was completely unable to work. Now imagine if I had a traditional business or even a job and took a month off in December. I may have had zero revenue or no pay depending on the type of job. Even with health insurance I wouldn’t have been paid because I wasn’t sick long enough to receive long term disability. What would happen if you were unable to work for a month? Imagine having no income over the holidays. In my opinion, everyone should have a residual stream of income.
Finally, let’s talk about the importance of daily gratitude. In 2013 I wrote a book called 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life. The day before I was admitted to the hospital I wrote in my gratitude journal what I was most grateful for, that day. It seems strange to find gratitude after a miscarriage, but by finding even the littlest things to be grateful for in times of tragedy, it helps us to heal much more quickly. After that, my next entry was two weeks later, once I was home from the hospital. My family and I were able to find gratitude on a much deeper level after having almost become a family of two. Before I got sick, I would wake up every morning and give thanks for another day. After I awoke from sedation, I truly understand what a gift it is to wake up. Do you practice daily gratitude? Are you waking up in the morning and giving thanks for another day? How can you deepen your gratitude practice, starting today?
So what does my life look like now, almost 2 years later? First, I am in the best health I have been in years! As for my business, within a few months of my recovery, I grew my business by about 50% and did the same thing again this past spring and we are still growing! And finally, I live each day from a deep sense of gratitude, faith and love, knowing that every day is a gift and that tomorrow is not promised. It doesn’t take a life threatening illness to make the most out of life, so I encourage you to decide today to place a higher value on your health, to learn more about the power of residual income and to truly live daily gratitude, by waking up every morning and simply saying thank you.
Lifestyle & Leadership Masterclass – Thursday Jan 12th at Le Jardin in Woodbridge with one of my mentors, Natalie Dion. Registration now open! www.lifestylemasterclass.eventbrite.ca
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